Revision 19 as of 2002-11-20 19:21:42

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The Boost.Python Library binds C++ and Python in a mostly-seamless fashion. It is just one member of the boost C++ library collection at

Use the Boost Python Library to quickly and easily export C++ to Python such that the Python interface is very similar to the C++ interface. It is designed to be minimally intrusive on your C++ design. In most cases, you should not have to alter your C++ classes in any way in order to use them with Boost.Python. The system should simply reflect your C++ classes and functions into Python. Boost.Python bindings are written in pure C++, using no tools other than your editor and your C++ compiler.

The Python [ C++-sig] serves as a mailing list for users of the library. Documentation for the current release is available at Development documentation, which is usually more up-to-date, is available through the [*checkout*/boost/boost/libs/python/doc/index.html Boost CVSWeb] interface.

This page serves as a forum to gather peoples' experience and as a cookbook, as it is more dynamic by nature and open to contributors.

Various items:


  1. boost.python/SimpleExample
  2. boost.python/ExportingClasses
  3. boost.python/OverridableVirtualFunctions
  4. boost.python/FunctionOverloading
  5. ["boost.python/Inheritance"]
  6. boost.python/SpecialMethod
  7. boost.python/PeekUnderTheHood
  8. boost.python/CrossExtensionModuleDependencies
  9. boost.python/WrappingEnums
  10. boost.python/PointersAndSmartPointers
  11. boost.python/InternalDataStructures

From David Abrahams:

Boost.Python is designed with the idea in mind that users never touch a PyObject*.

Boost.Python depends on quite a few of the other boost libraries (possibly a few others):

IIUC, ["weave"] can be used for embedding nontrivial C++ code, if you're willing to stick it all inside one function body. Furthermore, tools like weave.blitz() can make an enormous difference by compiling an entire C++ expression template corresponding to an arbitrarily complicated Python expression. Surely that's nontrivial. It's definitely cool. I think weave offers enormous power to the person who's programming mostly in Python.

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